What can Home Automation bring to your Heating?
Your heating system is probably already controlled from a timer, so what more can home automation bring? Well in just a few words, more comfort, lots more convenience and reducing your energy bills by intelligent control of your home's heating and temperature. And in a single word - Intelligence!
You decide which areas of your home are heated, when they're heated and to what temperature. For instance you may decide you want the rooms heated to 18°C in the morning, 12°C during the day and 20°C in the evening. The home automation system handles it all for you - no need to worry or think about it.
No need to go around your home changing room or radiator temperatures, they can look after themselves based on automatic schedules or when the relatives come to visit. Just as importantly, you can operate them from your smartphone whether you're at home or away. You can change the heating, even if you're stuck in traffic!
Create zones that can be individually turned On/Off or be set to different temperatures through the day. This really delivers smart home living, allowing you to only heat the parts of your home that you need, helping save money and waste. You can even create zones in systems that would otherwise have needed expensive plumbing and changes.
You can significantly reduce your energy costs by intelligently controlling your heating - even small changes can have a big impact. It's not just about controlling the time and temperature, it's also about using other components of the home automation system to create intelligent heating. For instance my son's bedroom is the warmest in the house. When it get's too hot, his solution is to open his window, which works quite well in January, but wastes a lot of heat. An intelligent solution is to fit a detector to the window, when the window is opened, the home automation system automatically switches off the room's radiators helping to reduce wasted heat and save costs.
Z-Wave Heating Control
Z-Wave is a wireless home automation technology that has products available from many vendors (50+ on Vesternet). This means that whatever type of device or thing you would like to do, there will be a Z-Wave device available.
Z-Wave has a number of features that make it ideal for wireless home automation and heating control.
All Z-Wave devices work in a system (sometimes called a network), at the heart of the system is the Z-Wave controller. All devices are 'added' to the system so that the controller can see them. You're then able to control and monitor them from a computer, phone or tablet. More information about the basics of a Z-Wave system are shown in our Getting Started guide.
Every device reports its status, so you always know which if your heating is On or Off and what temperature it is set to.
Z-Wave automatically repeats signals through mains-powered devices and decides on the best route for the signals to take. This helps eliminate dead-spots and enables it to cover a wider area (range).
Smartphone and Remote Access
The Z-Wave controller connects to your Wi-Fi Router allowing you to control the lights from a smartphone or tablet while you're at home or even away.
Scenes allow you to control a number of Z-Wave devices as a single group. The scene can set different zones to different temperatures at different times of the day.
Using Z-Wave to control your heating will give you a high degree of control and can be part of a complete Z-Wave home automation system also controlling your lights and security. However, creating a heating system, particularly a multi-zoned system based on Z-Wave can become very complex to program and configure.
Automating your heating system
How you have Z-Wave control your heating depends on the type of heating you have and how you wish for it to work. We've divided these into the most common systems, each section includes a separate guide giving you more information on how it will work in reality. As well as the products listed, we have a huge range of installation and configuration guides, all backed by our renowned technical support.
Boiler - Radiator System (Basic Single Thermostat)
This is the traditional heating and hot water system in many homes in the UK and Europe. A central boiler heats water that is circulated through wall mounted radiators around the home. A single thermostat, usually in the hall, regulates the temperature for the whole house and the boiler is controlled by a timer. The boiler also provides hot water.More Information...
Boiler - Radiator System (Multi-Zone)
Being able to control the temperature of different parts of your home through the day can make using your heating more convenient and will give you significant savings. An example would be to create two zones. During the day only one zone is active and in the evening both become active. This is a great idea if you work from home during the day and only need a small number of rooms heating.More Information...
Electric Panel Heaters
This type of heating is often found in rural homes that don't have a gas or oil supply. Each panel heater is wired to the mains, most have an integrated thermostat that controls that particular panel. There is rarely a room or house thermostat to control the system as a whole. The systems are expensive to run, so any intelligent control that you can add will quickly save you money as well as making the system more convenient to use and monitor.More Information...
Under-Floor Heating (Water)
These systems use a central boiler to heat the water which is circulated around the system, they often include multiple zones. Home Automation enables you to more easily control the heating together with your home automation appliances in one system. It also allows you to control the system remotely from the office, in the car or anywhere.More Information...
Under-Floor Heating (Electric)
Electric underfloor heating (UFH) systems are relatively self contained, but the home automation system will allow you to control it from one integrated system and control it remotely.More Information...